Profiles / Rising S.T.E.M. Stars

STEPHEN STAFFORD


Talented 15 Year-Old STEM Star

That is one word people would surely use to describe Stephen R. Stafford. At the age of fifteen, Stephen is nearing the end of his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College. What’s more – he is an exemplary student who tutors both K-12 students and his Morehouse peers. That’s not all. Stephen has declared not one, but two STEM majors – mathematics and computer science.

There is much to be said for the influence a child’s older siblings can have in shaping both his curiosity and educational achievement. In Stephen’s case, academic achievement actually preceded his formal education. At the age of two, he swapped out television and toys in favor of playing school with his older sister, Martinique (then age six).Their make-believe schoolhouse introduced Stephen to the wonderful world of academics, and specifically mathematics. Stephen soon outpaced his young teacher, demonstrating remarkable propensity for understanding complex mathematical concepts. When other six and seven year-olds were learning two-digit addition and subtraction, Stephen was mastering basic Algebra and Geometry. It became clear to his mother that Stephen was a gifted child.

Stephen was home schooled for most of his primary and secondary education. By the age of eleven, Stephen’s mind required more of a challenge than even what his mother could offer so Stephen was allowed to audit courses at Morehouse College. Astonishingly, Stephen completed his courses with the highest grade average in both his College Honors Algebra and Pre-Calculusclasses. By the age of 13, Stephen was a high school graduate and began Morehouse College as a freshman.

The Detroit native has consistently excelled throughout his college education. A math and computer whiz, he and his family now live in Lithonia, GA, just east of Atlanta where he is now a junior at Morehouse College. He is expected to graduate with degrees in both mathematics and computer science by the age of 17, an amazing feat by anyone’s standards.

Stephen’s phenomenal talent and commitment have earned him much recognition and media attention. His list of media credits and speaking engagements reads like that of an A-list star promoting a new project. He has made appearances on CNN, Anderson Cooper’s 360, MSNBC, ABC News, The Tyra Banks Show, CBS News, NPR, and The Mo’nique Show. As well, Stephen makes it a point to invest his time into building community, speaking at different events all over the country and in the Greater Atlanta area in particular in hopes that his story can encourage other kids to allow themselves to excel.

Stephen Stafford represents the future of STEM in America. And if his ability is any indication of the STEM talent we can expect to see in this next generation, we are going to be in good shape as a nation. “Potential is like a rainbow,” Stephen says, “you never know where it ends.”

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Best Advice

Trust the Lord; He will never give you more than you can bare; never give up.

My Mentors and Why

Mentors are teachers of wisdom. Mentors also serve as transformational coaches and provide a system of accountability conducive to optimal growth and development.

Quotes I Live By

"Do what you gotta do, so you can do what you want to do." - Denzel Washington

Invent One Thing

While it is still relatively early in my career, I look forward to patenting a medical device or creating a surgical procedure that will revolutionize the field of medicine as we know it. My goal is to always leave a place better than how I found it in some form or fashion.

Book Currently Reading

Water: the Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization by John Doe
There will come a day when we’ll refuse to flush our drinking water down the toilet. I think water as a commodity will be like oil and gold: invaluable—to a price.